As I have discussed about birthdays previously on Kveller, Valentine’s Day is another one of those holidays that, for me, loses significance since I have kids. I don’t even deem Valentine’s Day worthy of a whole post; that’s how not into it I am.
However, I will share with you how my husband and I celebrate it.
We have a “who can find the cheesiest Valentine’s Day card” contest every year. And that’s it. No flowers, no candy, no presents, no fancy dinner. Just a card contest for which card is most mushy, most profoundly odd, and often times, evokes the most religious imagery that doesn’t resonate with us. Winning examples from our past include rhyming cards that declare the recipient “My kumquat, my best shot,” and cards that declare things like: “No matter what you do or where you go, I will never leave your side and you will never be alone ever again.” I tend to underline the most intense phrases for emphasis in these kinds of cards, so that my beloved not miss the point that he will never be alone ever again.
Sometimes I add comments to the cards alongside the text. So where the card says, “You’ve seen me at my worst, both physically and emotionally,” (which is a quote from this year’s choice I made for him, I kid you not), I added, “Oh yes you have,” after that line.
This contest of ours removes a lot of pressure, which I think is necessary since “romance” is sort of a thing of the past and we have only really been out together once alone in seven years and that was on a night when we all got the stomach flu (our boys at home, us at the SAG awards…). Our life is complicated and energy and money-consuming enough without us requiring expensive gifts from each other, and God knows if I decide for the first time in my life to pilfer away more than the typical $15 I spend on jewelry, it may mean the Messiah is coming and we all best be getting ready for that rather than admiring pretty jewelry in the mirror.
To make matters worse for all of you love birds out there, I am also one of those people who is skeptical and grumpy about holidays generated to encourage mass consumption of paper and mass manufacturing of a fantasy of romanticism that is not always healthy, especially for the young women of this society.
Some of you (all of you?) may say I am deprived, or a scrooge, or just plain unromantic. None of those are true, except the second one.
So enjoy your day, however you choose to spend it. And the next time you see a really cheesy awful card in some store around Valentine’s Day, consider buying it for your sweetie and sharing a laugh: a laugh over the absurdity of life, a laugh over rhyming “kumquat” with “best shot” (is it even a compliment to tell someone they’re your “best shot”!?), and resist the urge to buy an image of love that may harm both the environment and the very fabric of social relationships and women’s progress in feminism.
Because that’s the loving thing to do!